Last week, CAAA representatives attended a pre-rulemaking meeting in regard to the future of the medical-legal fee schedule and offered testimony on the inadequacies of the current system.
CAAA president Robert McLaughlin testified on behalf of CAAA and submitted comments reflecting the need to improve the inadequate number of QME physicians in the system and inadequate report quality.
CAAA reasoned that better report writing will only come from better compensation for QMEs who are already pressed for time in compiling said reports, and that a strong focus should be placed on recruiting and retaining good QMEs when there's a 20 percent attrition rate in the last five years.
Several other med-legal groups attended the meeting and provided similar themes in their testimonies, namely that QME physicians are underpaid resulting in poor report quality, a simpler fee schedule would help improve the system, and that electronic reporting should become the standard as opposed to the current requirement for paper service.
Administrative Director George Parisotto opened the meeting by announcing the DWC fully intends to move forward with changes to the schedule but doesn't have specific changes planned. Yesterday's meeting was the first step and will be followed by several smaller stakeholder meetings in the coming months with the next one to be scheduled in November.
As a key stakeholder, CAAA intends to fully participate in the process and provide testimony with the goal of improving patient outcomes.